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Behind the Barn with Farmer John

Published: July 14, 2010 7:28 AM


From GM of Columbus ... while reading the column I had a thought ... you were talking about freezing meat after you buy it and cooking it thoroughly afterward.

Well, when I shop and buy meat, I use the bags they put out for fruit/veggies and put the meat in it. A lot of times there is blood on the packages that the meat comes in ... and to keep it safe from any bacteria spreading to other items in my cart ... or getting on my hands. I put any meat in the plastic bags. Good column enjoyed it. 


Mrs. B of Fredericksburg to help Old Washington reader and others. Yes, you may print this to help others. I wanted to do this since last summer, I am still gardening my flower beds and I am in my 80s. It is kinda easy to push off things, but I love to help others. It is the time of the year for poison ivy. If people would just give the main plant or runners if they have rooted a drink of 1/2 cup or less of kerosene, that ends/kills the plants. Also for tiny mosquitoes or gnats during these humid times, just moisten an old washcloth with kerosene and rub it on the screens … all bugs on earth hate kerosene and a sure killer for them. Also for hammer toes or hardened skin, I have found a hand sander. Just sand off easily, later if it returns repeat sanding. I also use the kerosene for tree trunks or large cut off bushes that you don’t want, also thistles. (Dear friend, I am so glad you wrote and helped us. Nothing beats experience. Thank you for sharing some of yours. God bless you and keep up the great job with your flower beds. It will always be nice to hear from you. FJ)

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From JH of Tiffin — This is a tip for readers who have taken a small children’s pool from their yard and found an ugly dead spot. I did and I found it was easy to till up, perfectly round, and great for a flower bed. When flowers ran out, I planted grass, covered with straw and had a nice yard this spring without several months of an ugly spot. (A neat idea … also make a great spot for late tomatoes or cabbage. Thank you for writing! FJ)


A reader in Pleasant City has a cold beverage bet on this question.

Dear Farmer John, My dad and I transplanted 40 raspberry plants in his garden. This garden is in the open with full sun. My question is that I say the weeds should grow around the new shoots to give them some shade. My dad wants the rows weed free. Who is right? There is a cold beverage on the line. PN in PC

Dear PN, Both of you somewhat. In extreme hot weather, plants should have a shade cloth over them to give them a little shade and some mulch to keep moisture in soil, but weeds, no. Of course, any weeds or grass around plants will steal moisture needed in very hot and dry weather. If this 90 degree weather continues, they will probably benefit from a drink every few days, just not too much and not on plants, just around them. I think you both will have to buy each other one ... Ha!


The Rabers of Flat Rock, Ill., writes to help on reverse osmosis water and Kangen water.

Dear Farmer John, In response to the questions in your column, reverse osmosis water is run through filters, taking everything out of it, good and bad, minerals included, unless they are put back. The water is actually acidic and long-term could tear down the ph of the inner body sea. Kangen water has three main properties, highly alkaline, ph is extremely important to the body and Kangen tends to raise ph of ones body. Kangen water is micro-clustered meaning broken down so it can super hydrate your body and third it is a powerful antioxidant because it contains electrons. Kangen water is also backed by an organization of 6,500 doctors in Japan. Dr. H Shinya endorses Kangen for his patients and he is known as the inventor of colonoscopy surgery. Dr. D. Carpenter said Kangen water, healthy diet and lifestyle are foundations of good health. Hopefully, this helps and sheds a little light on subject. For questions, call (618) 584-3910 or (618) 584-3913. (Thank you for writing and for the information. If readers want to know where you got the facts, they can call you. Of course, as I have said before, the papers that carry this column and I cannot endorse any process or product unless stated as you all know. Thank you so much for writing and offering to answer other questions. FJ)


EW of Sarahsville shares great-grandmother’s Tomato Butter recipe and more

No garden is complete without a flower to make it sweet, and no life is complete or full without someone to share it with and care.

Tomato butter — 4 quarts of cooked tomatoes, 4 cups brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon allspice. Mix all and cook slowly until thick. Watch it does not stick. Pour into sterilized jars and seal according to acceptable canning practices. 

Ginger cookies — 3/4 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup dark molasses, 1 egg, 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon cloves. Cream butter, sugar, add egg, molasses and dry ingredients sifted together. Form into balls the size of a small walnut, roll in granulated sugar, place 2-inches apart, on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Tops crack like ginger snaps, but sweeter and milder in taste. My family loves them. Thanks for the column, I read it faithfully. (And thank you so much for sharing. The cookies are awesome, will try tomato butter. God bless you and yours ... hoping you all and all readers and their families had a great 4th of July. You are very kind! FJ)


The amateur strawberry farmer — Mr. M of Cambridge wrote and was concerned that after the first strawberries, some came on deformed or white and that it might be because the soil held old poisons or similar. He sent pictures and the patch was beautiful … lots of strawberries. (But my answer to you my friend ... is that it is unlikely it was poisons, etc. or the first and entire crop would have been affected, and in most cases, I have never seen that beautiful of plants where any poisons were involved with strawberries anyway! My educated answer is the weather/and or acid rain caused your problems, not poisons in the soil. You did a great job. Thank you for your kind words and sharing the pictures, etc. We appreciate your writings. FJ P.S. Most chemicals, poisons and herbicides will leach from soil in from 5-12 years, depending on what it is. But of course it lessens each year.)


TT of Fostoria asks for raspberry recipes and W of Newcomerstown wants readers opinions on the best vitamins and where to get them. If you can help these readers, have a question, share some of your experiences, or a hint or tip, write me at: Farmer John, P.O. Box 234, Groveport, OH 43125. I would love to hear from you, and would like you to tell a friend this week how much you appreciate them or tell your wife or hubby, smile now and have a great week full of wonderful memories and no stress.


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